No Uhuru insults: Azimio demands ahead of Raila-Ruto debate

‘No Uhuru Kenyatta insults’: Azimio demands ahead of Raila-Ruto presidential debate.

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition has given new conditions before its presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, can take part in next week’s presidential debate.

The coalition has said the platform should not be used to ‘insult’ President Uhuru Kenyatta and that issues of corruption and integrity need to be part of the debate for Mr Odinga to participate in it.

Allies of Mr Odinga are now asking him to consider skipping the debate if it will be ‘sideshows’ instead of discussions on what they have described as ‘important issues’ touching on the lives of Kenyans.

The Azimio team said if Deputy President William Ruto is interested in mudslinging the Head of State during the debate, then he should look for another platform to do so.

Speaking in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County on Friday, Azimio Secretary General Junet Mohammed said if the debate will be about what Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA) running mate Rigathi Gachagua pushed during the deputy presidential candidates’ debate, then it would be ideal the former Prime Minister doesn’t show up.

Mr Mohammed said Mr Odinga will only participate in the debate if it focuses on integrity, corruption and governance. Anything short of that, the ODM supremo will not turn up.

“Some people are saying that we have a debate between William Ruto and Baba (Mr Odinga), is that even possible? Baba will attend the debate, this is my personal opinion and not that of Baba, if three issues will be discussed: integrity, corruption and governance. If there is going to be other issues, we want to send Embakasi East MP Babu Owino to debate with William Ruto,” said Mr Mohammed.

“If we are going to discuss issues which are not important like we saw with Rigathi Gachagua, as Secretary General of Azimio, I will send Babu Owino to battle it out with William Ruto. Our competitors want to debate about President Uhuru Kenyatta, let them go and look for him and not drag him into the debate,” he added.

The Azimio camp’s demands come just a day after DP Ruto’s campaign secretariat team also issued a raft of demands to the Presidential Debates Secretariat.

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